Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Tanoa Lynne Poirier, a real estate broker/owner and author, for her top tips for agents looking to improve their business.
3. Listen – When you are at a listing or buyer appointment, resist the temptation to immediately tell them about what an expert you are in their geographic area, how many homes you have sold in the past 60 days, or why you are the best person to work for them compared to all of the agents in the world! We don’t sell homes. We help people realize their dreams.
What verbal cues are you missing by not listening? Did you hear how much Mrs. Brown misses her garden where she used to grow exotic flowers? Are there botanical gardens nearby? Were you listening when Mr. Johnson lamented the fact that he hasn’t played a good round of golf for a good, long time? If he’s new to the area, introduce him to some avid golfers you know! How about the verbal cue from Ms. Smith, stating how much she misses the diners she had “back home.” Do you know of any good diners around? Perhaps you could meet there for breakfast before heading out to view the properties? Those are all emotions you can use to help your clients find what they are looking for, and help you close the sale.
When sellers are discussing their need to leave their home, what emotions are they exhibiting: fear, anxiety or excitement? By listening, you will be better able to relate to their needs. You will be more sensitive to their need for a short or long closing date, what level of communication they will be comfortable with (everyday, once per week, email, in-person, via telephone) and what topics are off-limits.
You may wish make sure they are not at the property during showings, as it might be too difficult to handle. You will understand that removing the photo of a loved one is not an option as they have suffered a recent loss, or you can help your sellers who are celebrating a recent promotion, and an impending relocation by contacting a fellow agent in the destination city. Request some information about their new city; offer your clients “insider tips” about fun places to go, and great places to eat off the beaten path. By simply listening, you will be attuned to those “cues,” and you will find that your clients will refer you again and again, because you care about the little things.
2. In-Person Shop the Competition – The Internet has made it so much easier to view properties. The old-fashioned process of previewing our competitor properties has all but gone by the wayside. Be different! It is often difficult to tell what a property really looks like from the online photos. It is similar to online dating. The photos are years old, and do not reflect the current “situation.” Avoid looking unprofessional and the potential embarrassment of showing a unit that has soiled carpet, missing window treatments and the heavy malodorous evidence of a chain smoker. With just a little more preparation, you may earn a reputation of being one of the most professional agents in your area.
1. Create Beneficial Partnerships – Agents benefit from partnering with the other businesses because you become the problem solver for your clients. It’s all about them, right? When you present them with a challenge (ex. They should replace their carpet, paint the unit (or house), re-face the kitchen cabinets or fix the stairs in front of their home), do you also offer a solution for the items you have just presented to them? Have they suddenly gotten that “deer in the headlights” stare as they try to figure out how to carry out your suggestions?
Create partnerships with a licensed and insured handyman service, painting contractor, home stager or flooring installer. Suddenly, you have removed their anxiety, provided a solution for their repairs/upgrades and offered a “value added” reason to work with you and refer you to their family, friends and colleagues. You may begin by simply making an introduction and requesting a meeting with the business owner, and find out how they want to work with you for the best mutually beneficial outcome for their business, your client and you.
As the owner of Poirier Enterprises Inc., Tanoa Lynne Poirier is a manager, board member, company owner and broker. Tanoa understands every facet of property management and now gives individuals an opportunity to learn from her new book, “365 Tips.” The first female business owner in her family, Tanoa currently resides in Delray Beach, FL., and is a member of the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce, Community Association Institute and Realtor Association of Palm Beach. Read her blog here.